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Lest We Forget- Robert C. Cheeks’ Cowardice Under Fire

posted by Gus diZerega

The jack booted wing of Catholicism, brought to you regularly by First Things

UPDATE (and further update)
This initial post connected you to Robert Cheeks’ blog entry endorsing killing demonstrators at Ken State because it led to “order.”  That he thought they were revolutionary Marxists added to his pleasure at the carnage.
While the blog seems to have been wiped, one of Balloon Juice commentators thoughtfully has provided the entire post – so Mr. Cheeks’ Christian morality can be preserved for all to see.  

A few days ago a few of my friends and I ran a rather raucous thread concerning responsibility for the 1970 deaths of four students at Kent State University. A number of my interlocutors were Kent State graduates and a couple were there, on campus, on the day of the shootings which helped to add a certain ‘tone’ to the thread. In my part of Ohio many high school students matriculate to Kent State. Back in the day we had a saying, “If you can’t go to college, go to Kent.
It’s my position that then governor, James Rhodes, did the right thing, in fact his duty, in calling out the guard to suppress the arson, looting, and rioting instigated by leftist provocateurs. For two days the city of Kent, Ohio and the university experienced a violent uprising. While the actual shooting, and ensuing deaths and injuries were unfortunate this result is not unknown when ‘demonstrators and protesters’ confront armed National Guardsmen.
The responsibilities of government are limited and few. One of these is the maintenance of order. Governor Rhodes fulfilled his obligation to maintain order, in calling up the National Guard at the request of the Mayor of Kent, Ohio. It is interesting to note, in looking back that student anti-war rioting started to decline not long after Kent State (and the shootings at Jackson State). It appears that those American college students advocating ‘the violent overthrow’ had no stomach for revolution, no yearning for the barricades, that in fact they lacked the courage of their puerile, epigonic Marxist convictions.


They were not revolutionary Marxists and some were simply walking to class.  A number of commentators, including yours truly, reminded him of that.

Rather than stand by his words or apologize and retract, Robert C Cheeks - or simply First Things – took down the post and erased any reference to it.  Conservative Catholic bravery under fire, following in John Wayne’s footsteps – the ‘hero’ who alone among Hollywood male stars of his time, shirked serving in WWII.  

Given his snide comments about students being shot, his cowardice over some blog criticisms says volumes about his own character.  I guess he “lacked the courage of his own puerile, epigonic [right wing] convictions” – eh?
 I have added Cheeks’ name to the title, to do all I can to enable others surfing the web to learn of his moral and political degeneracy, and the moral standards of publications who feature him


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ladyhawke4

posted May 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm


I remember Kent State, I remember it very well. I remember being totally bewildered by the severity of the reprisals. All anyone had to do was leave them be and wait till they got hungry and had to go for food. But riot police and guns?
As for those teabaggers, you call them? The modern equivalent reaction, given that they were armed and apparently willing to use the weapons, would have been, let’s see, sub-machine guns, perhaps?
Confusing world sometimes.



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Helen/Hawk

posted May 8, 2010 at 4:42 pm


It’s important to remember Kent State.
Esp after the last 8 years of George W. Bush.
Yes, at the time there was talk of violent overthrow. Student talk. (students are great at talk). All “come the revolution”. I remember. From today’s perspective, mostly quite innocent.
Ladyhawke4, there had been rioting in town during the week-end(the shootings happened on a Monday). Low-key as far as riots go: window smashing etc. Apparently the town’s Mayor had asked for the National Guard.
But students w/ even some rock throwing vrs guns? Before Kent State, they still trusted.
But Gus? I don’t “get” the connection between Kent State & “jack-booted Catholicism” in your post.



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Gus diZerega

posted May 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm


Jack booted Catholicism is represented by the regular blogger who praised killing innocents so as to maintain order at First Things, a conservative Catholic propaganda source. There are plenty of good people who are Catholics – but we should never forget those who are not good.



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Pitch313

posted May 8, 2010 at 9:36 pm


I don’t think that the Kent State shootings had much to do with order vs. disorder in and around Kent, Ohio. Never did. I do think that the shootings had something to do with some government poking at and into the anti-Vietnam and overall social change movement. Maybe just to see whether they could.
Furthermore, I think that they learned that they couldn’t. Even though students were also shot a little later that year at Jackson State.
Not all student demonstrations that damage lots of propety are politically motivated. Lots are reactions to athletic outcomes and rules making. The list of Michigan State student riots, for instance,
tallies only one notable political demonstration and lots of sports related ones.
And they didn’t shoot any students in response to any disorder.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_State_University_student_riot
As for “violent overthrow” well, I suspect that there were actually few students who called for such a thing. Most worked for significant social change through dramatic but pretty much non-violent means. (My sense is that anti-war students made a distinction between messing up property and messing up people, and looked at messing up property as no very “violent” compared to, say, My Lai.)
As for Cheeks, I don’t get why shooting students at Kent State is something to uphold or celebrate. All in all, going to college is not so disruptive or threatening as to merit soldiers shooting you down, even when you–unarmed–act frisky. Or go about your daily campus living.



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Apuleius Platonicus

posted May 9, 2010 at 1:00 am


There was a hell of a lot more talk about overthrowing the government AFTER Kent State than there ever was before. Liberals became radicals, radicals became revolutionaries, and revolutionaries started re-reading Che Guevara. Literally.



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Apuleius Platonicus

posted May 9, 2010 at 1:01 am

Helen/Hawk

posted May 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm


Oh I was just remembering those days.
Apuleius Platonicus? I agree. Kent State shifted consciousness.
When I remembered “Come the Revolution”, it wasn’t of folks who were active in “violent overthrow”. It was remembering folks who talked that way. Where I was, it was a not-uncommon expression.
And yes, Pitch313, working for social change is what people DID. My DH calls that Dragon Speech: noting what people DO instead of what they SAY.
As to why I mentioned the riots in town the weekend before the Shootings? It’s because I didn’t know about them. And I thought they might have been a factor in the individual Guard’s reactions. There’s currently a controversy that there was an actual order to fire. Which would put this at a whole other level than an impulse of a frightened NationalGuard person.
Thanks for explaining, Gus. I didn’t know that First Things was specifically Catholic, let alone a conservative Catholic engine.



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